In the next elections, we face a major problem in Nepal. Why ?
Because while most of us have the right to vote, many of us won’t be able to afford it. Yes you heard it right ! You can’t afford to vote. Let me present my case.
1) You are right now far from your village or town. Most of us have migrated to another city or town in #Nepal to study, to work, to look for jobs or start a business. Too bad, the current law requires that you can only vote from where you registered, so too bad if you can’t afford to go back to your village or town. Take an example of my friend, Ang Raj from Jumla. He is in Kathmandu now trying to start a social business that makes products from remote places like Jumla find market in Kathmandu. To go back to Jumla to vote, he has to pay Rs, 22,000 to take a plane to go up to Jumla and vote, then come back. (Since he can’t get regular flights, his trip takes a week at least). If he goes by foot it will take him at least 2 weeks. If he takes the most dangerous road across Surkhet, Dailekh, Kalikot to Jumla, it’s neither cheap either nor safe.
Cost: Is a vote worth an investment of a minimum of Rupees 22,000 and a week of leave from work ? NO!
2) You are out of the country. 2.2 million of us (that is 22,00,000 Nepali voters) will not be allowed to vote for their rights. If you want to vote, you have to come here (not just to Kathmandu but back to your own village). Furthermore if you haven’t done voters registration (which can happen only in Nepal), you are automatically disqualified. If you were working abroad in the last few years, you have already missed your right to vote. Sorry! Can you afford to come back to Nepal twice ? once to register and then come again to vote ?
Estimated Cost: More than 1 Lakh (100,000) rupees to cast a single vote (that is if you have registered for voters identification card)
You are under 25. People under 25 not allowed to vote as the election law dictates that only 18 at the time of 2008 Constituent Assembly elections are allowed to vote. This has been solved by a new ordinance the Government brought in early 2013.
Isn’t it time to join hands to get rid of this nonsense and make sure we address these issues by the next elections?
Call Election Commission now!
Neel Kantha Uprety
Chief Election Commissioner
Kantipath, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: (977-01) 4228663
Fax: (977-01) 4229227
Or call us at BibekSheel Nepali (98511-49214) if you want to launch a full campaign. ask for Ang Raj Bharati / Pukar Bam.